From Inspired Talks of  Volume 7 of  The Complete Works of  Swami Vivekananda – Chapter I- Recorded by Miss S.E.Waldo, A Disciple

MONDAY, June 24, 1895. (The reading today was from the Bhakti-Sutras by Nârada.)

“Extreme love to God is Bhakti, and this love is the real immortality, getting which a man becomes perfectly satisfied, sorrows for no loss, and is never jealous; knowing which man becomes mad.”

My Master used to say, “This world is a huge lunatic asylum where all men are mad, some after money, some after women, some after name or fame, and a few after God. I prefer to be mad after God. God is the philosophers’ stone that turns us to gold in an instant; the form remains, but the nature is changed — the human form remains, but no more can we hurt or sin.”

“Thinking of God, some weep, some sing, some laugh, some dance, some say wonderful things, but all speak of nothing but God.”

Prophets preach, but the Incarnations like Jesus, Buddha, Ramakrishna, can give religion; one glance, one touch is enough. That is the power of the Holy Ghost, the “laying on of hands”; the power was actually transmitted to the disciples by the Master — the “chain of Guru-power”. That, the real baptism, has been handed down for untold ages.

“Bhakti cannot be used to fulfil any desires, itself being the check to all desires.” Narada gives these as the signs of love: “When all thoughts, all words, and all deeds are given up unto the Lord, and the least forgetfulness of God makes one intensely miserable, then love has begun.”

“This is the highest form of love because therein is no desire for reciprocity, which desire is in all human love.”

“A man who has gone beyond social and scriptural usage, he is a Sannyâsin. When the whole soul goes to God, when we take refuge only in God, then we know that we are about to get this love.”

Obey the scriptures until you are strong enough to do without them; then go beyond them. Books are not an end-all. Verification is the only proof of religious truth. Each must verify for himself; and no teacher who says, “I have seen, but you cannot”, is to be trusted, only that one who says, “You can see too”. All scriptures, all truths are Vedas in all times, in all countries; because these truths are to be seen, and any one may discover them.

“When the sun of Love begins to break on the horizon, we want to give up all our actions unto God; and when we forget Him for a moment, it grieves us greatly.”

Let nothing stand between God and your love for Him. Love Him, love Him, love Him; and let the world say what it will. Love is of three sorts — one demands, but gives nothing; the second is exchange; and the third is love without thought of return — love like that of the moth for the light.

“Love is higher than work, than Yoga, than knowledge.”

Work is merely a schooling for the doer; it can do no good to others. We must work out our own problem; the prophets only show us how to work. “What you think, you become”, so if you throw your burden on Jesus, you will have to think of Him and thus become like Him — you love Him.

“Extreme love and highest knowledge are one.”

But theorising about God will not do; we must love and work. Give up the world and all worldly things, especially while the “plant” is tender. Day and night think of God and think of nothing else as far as possible. The daily necessary thoughts can all be thought through God. Eat to Him, drink to Him, sleep to Him, see Him in all. Talk of God to others; this is most beneficial.

Get the mercy of God and of His greatest children: these are the two chief ways to God. The company of these children of light is very hard to get; five minutes in their company will change a whole life; and if you really want it enough, one will come to you. The presence of those who love God makes a place holy, “such is the glory of the children of the Lord”. They are He; and when they speak, their words are scriptures. The place where they have been becomes filled with their vibrations, and those going there feel them and have a tendency to become holy also.

“To such lovers there is no distinction of caste, learning, beauty, birth, wealth, or occupation; because all are His.”

Give up all evil company, especially at the beginning. Avoid worldly company, that will distract your mind. Give up all “me and mine”. To him who has nothing in the universe the Lord comes. Cut the bondage of all worldly affections; go beyond laziness and all care as to what becomes of you. Never turn back to see the result of what you have done. Give all to the Lord and go on and think not of it. The whole soul pours in a continuous current to God; there is no time to seek money, or name, or fame, no time to think of anything but God; then will come into our hearts that infinite, wonderful bliss of Love. All desires are but beads of glass. Love of God increases every moment and is ever new, to be known only by feeling it. Love is the easiest of all, it waits for no logic, it is natural. We need no demonstration, no proof. Reasoning is limiting something by our own minds. We throw a net and catch something, and then say that we have demonstrated it; but never, never can we catch God in a net.

Love should be unrelated. Even when we love wrongly, it is of the true love, of the true bliss; the power is the same, use it as we may. Its very nature is peace and bliss. The murderer when he kisses his baby forgets for an instant all but love. Give up all self, all egotism s get out of anger, lust, give all to God. “I am not, but Thou art; the old man is all gone, only Thou remainest.” “I am Thou.” Blame none; if evil comes, know the Lord is playing with you and be exceeding glad.

Love is beyond time and space, it is absolute.